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How to Live in Austin, Texas

Yesterday I spent all day putting my new solar panel on the RV. Two weeks ago I got the panel in the mail and I called Crestview RV (a local RV place in Austin) to get it installed. They said it would be about $200, but that they were backed up and it would have to be left there for two weeks. I told them I couldn't go without it that long, so he made an appointment for two weeks later and said to come first thing in the morning.

Those of you who know me know that I hate waking up early.

Still, I want my solar power so I woke up early yesterday and my fantastic sister, Kelsey, drove me 15 miles to bring it in. When I got there they told me they were backed up and I would need to leave it there for two weeks. Forget it. I'll do it myself.

You could say I'm a hiker

On Stuff in a Notebook

You could say I'm a hiker. Though I'm not, not really. I don't get to hike nearly as much as I'd like to, but like every West Coast-raised child, I do love a good hike.

When it comes to hiking, I play it safe. I lost a good friend to the mountains in middle school, and nearly lost another in high school. Thankfully, he was found alive after two days. As a result, I refuse to hike in the snow, regardless of the time of year or how safe a trail is, at least not without a GPS tracking device. However, seeing as hiking is one of the best by-foot exercises for your health, and seeing as how I live near some of the best hikes in the country, I can't let a few bumps in the road stop me from participating in this activity.

For this summer, my goal is to hike at least once a week. I am trying to exercise more, and I hate going to the gym. I love being surrounded by nature and being secluded from the noisy city, which is why I'm trying to increase my hiking frequency and ability.

When I hike, I can't help but think about my friends. Even if I'm thinking about other things, they're always in the back of my mind. I hope one day to train a dog for hiking search and rescue and to join a team to help bring hikers back safely.

Today, I completed my second hike. The first hike, last week, was 5.4 miles, and was divided into fourths: one part easy, two parts medium, and one part difficult. It was an absolutely beautiful hike, and I was out of shape, sore, and sweating intensely by the time we finished. Today's hike was much shorter. It only lasted about 35 minutes and was just over a mile. We had originally thought that there were more trails, but by the time we realized there were not, we were already hiking, so we just went with it. Compared to last week, it was incredibly easy. I hope that our next hike will be a little more difficult. I want to challenge myself.

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